UP Big Boy 4006 - National Museum of Transportation

UP Big Boy 4006 sits on display at the National Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood, MO.
UP Big Boy X4006 - Kirkwood, MO

While I have not managed to see Union Pacific Big Boy 4014, the newly restored and running Big Boy steam locomotive, I have managed to see and photograph two other Big Boy locomotives on static display. One of the two is Union Pacific Big Boy 4006, which is on display at the National Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood, Missouri. Kirkwood, is a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri.

Front of UP Big Boy 4006 at the National Museum of Transportation.
Front of UP Big Boy X4006 - Kirkwood, MO

About Union Pacific Big Boy 4006

Union Pacific 4006 was built by the American Locomotive Company (Alco) in September 1941. In total, Alco built twenty-five Big Boys for the Union Pacific Railroad, with the first ones being delivered in 1941. The locomotives have a wheel arrangement of 4-8-8-4, and are articulated type steam locomotives. This means that the two sets of eight driving wheels move separately from each other, allowing the steam locomotives to navigate tighter radius curves. Overall, the locomotives and their tenders weigh in at about 1.2 million pounds (600 US tons/544 Metric tons), and are 132 feet (40.2 meters) in length.

UP Big Boy 4006's bell, and number plate and boards
UP Big Boy 4006's bell, and number plate and boards

According to Trains Magazine, UP Big Boy 4006 was officially retired in May 1961, and the locomotive was then donated to the Museum of Transportation in June 1961. Restoration work was done at the Alton & Southern's Gateway Yard in East St. Louis, Illinois, before the locomotive arrived at the museum in  June 1962.

UP Big X4006 on display with UP 900081 and UP 6944.
UP Big X4006 with UP 900081 and UP 6944

Above, Union Pacific Big Boy 4006 is sitting on display next to UP 900081, a rotary snow plow, and UP 6944, a DDA40X Centennial diesel locomotive. UP 900081 was designed and built by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1966. UP 6944 was built by the Electromotive Motive Division of General Motors in 1971.  The EMD DDA40X model is considered to be the most powerful diesel locomotive ever made, and per some websites, UP 900081 is considered the most powerful rotary snow plow built in North America. If true, it seems fitting that all three of these machines are displayed with one another.

Photographs taken April 12, 2005, at Kirkwood, Missouri.


  1. Great shots! Love the last one with the snow plow. I need to get back to that museum. Have some old film shots somewhere at this museum or could be really early digital.

    1. Thank you very much, Shelly. It's a great museum. Hopefully, it'll still thrive, now that it is no longer run and supported by St. Louis County.


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